Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia are finalizing the Labor Exchange Agreement (LEA) that will open doors for legal exchange of Ethiopian domestic workers.
Some 80 per cent of the agreement has been finalised, with the signing of the agreement impending, according to State Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Damene Darota, who added that the agreement was expected to prevent violence against and mistreatment of Ethiopian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.
Ethiopia signed similar agreements with Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, with further regulations being devised for those travelling to neighboring countries.
According to reports, currently, over 245 million people are living under labor exploitation across the world. Every year, more than 1.2 million new individuals across the world are also exposed of human trafficking and smuggling.
Yebeltal Walelegn, Federal Attorney General Human Trafficking Taskforce Secretariat Office Coordinator, for his part mentioned punishing traffickers and adopting regulations among priority areas to discourage human trafficking.
He cited lack of joint action among federal and regional stakeholders, budget limitation among the problems that hold back actions directed at halting trafficking.Corruption and mal-administration also fuel the problem, according to Yebeltal.
A national committee led by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen was set up showing the government’s increased commitment to deal with the critical problem.
The task force comprises 14 government offices, seven associations, mass media, and non-governmental organizations.Besides activities targeting prevention of human trafficking, rehabilitation of returnees is also underway, according to the ministry.